Posts Tagged ‘technology’

I’m An ‘Addict’……….

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

They say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem, so here goes;

Hello. My name is Alph & I have a problem. I’m addicted to computer porn.


No,STOP RIGHT THERE!! Before you report me or this site, allow me to elaborate – it’s not ‘that’ sort of thing, so get your mind out of the gutter! (I can imagine Special Branch trying to break down my door….)


Here goes….

I’ve always been ever-so-slightly obsessed with computers & technology, but lately it seems to be getting out of hand.


Ever since my PC started to misbehave, I’d been exploring the possibility of an upgrade or a replacement. & when it finally died, things sort of spiraled out of control.

It seemed to innocent:  checking reviews against what I thought I’d need, making comparisons on websites,  & checking availability.  I’d even ask advice of my friends, family & colleagues about what sort of kit to get or advice on PC self-builds. I’ve got a couple of magazines on PC building & purchased a toolkit


However, I fear things may have gotten out of hand.


Most people waste time on Twitter, I on the other hand, seem to lose hours between e-buyer & PC World online. I feel my day isn’t complete unless checking deals in Amazon’s computer section. Each unforeseen problem sends me scurrying along the information superhighway for additional hardware to fulfil my needs.


I fear it’s getting worse.


I can barely pass a news-stand or an outlet of WH Smiths without looking into a copy of Micro Mart. My fingers twitch when I see a copy of Custom PC; I get a heady rush looking at an edition of PC Pro or Mac format; I get panic attacks when my subscription copy of Computeractive is late; who thought that I’d be furtively clicking on Scan Computers deals.


I worry that once I commit to buying or building a specific machine that I’ll have to stop my activities & settle down to work constructively – the thought fills me with terror. I REALLY need to get a grip on this before my world comes crashing down around my ears.


So once again, hello; my name is Alph & I have a problem: I’m addicted to computer TECH porn.


BPM 2010, Pt 2

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

As promised, some more pictures for you

The DJ at American Audio. Curiously, wearing a Union Jack jacket, Either doing his thing for Anglo American relations or at the wrong fancy dress party......................

Parm Panesar (at Denon, obviously). This bloke has stamina - he seemed to be on the decks from the moment I got into the place 'til I left - quite a long set...

A couple of So Solid freestyling, ahead of their set at the BPM Arena

A couple of So Solid freestyling, ahead of their set at the BPM Arena

I have got some video, but have had a few issues getting it up here, but have found a better quality version of some of what happened at Reloop,  made by the guys themselves:

Also found footage of the NI Traktor S4 controller (Mmmm……)

Anyway, I sat in on Tony Andrew’s ‘The Importance of Quality Audio’ talk (Thanks for the heads up on that one, Looby).

Tony Andrews seminar at BPM 2010

Tony Andrews seminar at BPM 2010. A man with a passionate belief & has made me look again at how I record my work.

Whilst not the most dynamic of presentations, he is clearly a man passionate about his subject, making genuine, salient points about quality audio in the digital domain.
Initially, the start of the talk was somewhat ‘esoteric’ (at one point I though I was going to get my head shaved & get married off to a pineapple), but once past that the essential thrust of the seminar was of importance to anyone caring about what they listen to & that is:

  • We are so used to consuming everything for the sake of convenience, particularly regarding music that quality is trailing a VERY poor second.
  • We spend more time choosing our digital music players than the quality of the content that goes on them.
  • This is having a trickle-down effect on every aspect of music (radio, live work, recording, etc).
  • Compressed audio formats (such as mp3), were designed to suit the needs of an much older Internet (lower bandwith, slower PCs) & lower spec machines with considerably less storage than that  now available.
  • While computers & the internet has evolved, many of these formats haven’t & are constrained by the limitations they had in the inception.
    (he summed it up nicely – do I want 10,000 lower quality mp3s on my Ipod or 1000 good quality ones?)

In my day job (I work in education) – we have a generation who already are unfamiliar with CDs, & in many case, you put on a CD quality track, they can’t cope because there’s too much audio information.

Didn’t get to see the DJ Mag tech Awards this year, but did get to run into DJ Mag’s Tech Editor,Mick Wilson – surprisingly, he remembered me from last time (odd that, as no restraining orders were involved. Maybe it’s a sign of my continued growth as a human being).

Attended ‘Produce>Promote..’ panel

Produce' promote... Q&A session with (from left): Mark Jones Guenter Loibl, Sally McKlintock & Rebecca Saforia)

with Mark Jones (Co-founder of BPM), Guenter Liobl, CEO of Rebeat, Sally McClintock of DMC, Rebecca Saforia (Trance DJ & composer of this year’s (first) BPM Anthem).
Interesting & informative. Got passed over in the Q&A (maybe try to be more assertive), but did get a chance to chat afterwards with Mark (nice man, suitably adult hair), Rebecca (warm & chatty).

The main points they seemed to put across were:

  • Think globally (always remember the home market, but the Net give you a potential audience of billions)
  • Don’t give up – persistence & patience pay off.  (That said, if something isn’t working, leave it, try another track, avenue or tactic).
  • Network, network, network – not just using the Internet. Actually going up to people & talking to them can open up opportunities.

I got to speak to Guenter later on. I’m not sure if he understood what I was trying to say (that said, I know I’m often given to rather long, rambling dialogues, so it’s understandable), To his credit, he was patient, & encouraging. A gentleman by any other name.

Dodgy celeb lookalike alert – ‘Ulrika Jonsson’ (or some rather low-rent approximation) wandering through the BPM Arena during the prize draws. Which I didn’t win. Again. Roll on next year…………………………………..

BPM 2010, Part 1

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Once again it was  that time of year, earlier this month. This year’s event coincided with our Anniversary – major pain (that said, circumstances conspired to have us celebrate on the Saturday with me being able to go on the Sunday (LOADS of love to my darling Wifey on that one!! xxxxxx)
Though it seemed not quite as many exhibitors were  there this year, it was still quite a show to get around. On this day I found:

More Women!!
No, simmer down!

DJ at BPM Vestax stand

Don’t get the knives out to carve up my sexist backside – I’m not talking in terms of eye-candy ‘brolley dollies’, none of that nonsense, I mean ladies on the stands Djing, demonstrating & advising. This was something I thought was lacking from an otherwise excellent exhibition last year, & it looks like they’ve taken it on board. A welcome change in my book, not a moment too soon.

Quite a few djs were there, & as usual, standards were high. DJ Angelo was back – check his MySpace  & very good easy-to-follow tutorials (bloody nice bloke). DJ Ratzi (find his Facebook page). A couple of the So Solid Crew had a spontaneous freestyle session before their set in the BPM Arena. I even captured some of this on video. If it’s not up by the time this goes on the site, I’ll try to get it sorted. Also ran into DJ SS, one of the guys from my way, back in the old days, looking well & really up for his set later on.

To get through this day I found the following was helpful

  • A well stocked bag –  important.

Being a cheapskate, I take my own provisions, using the on-site facilities for top ups/snacks rather than anything substantial. Also, some of the free bags aren’t as strong as you need if you’re spending on lots of items or a few awkward/bulky ones. The downside is, you have to carry the damn thing with you all day & negotiating your way through crowds/doors/ stands can be quite a test of one’s spatial awareness & physical endurance. The weather on the day also meant taking a coat. Oh joy.

  • Cash.

You’ll never have enough, but it helps to have some idea of what you want to get before you go. That at least gives you something approaching a budget. Most places do fairly good deals, & I came home with a few choice bargains, much to the annoyance of my (long-suffering) wife. Ooops!

Networkapproach people AND talk to them
It’s a DJ exhibition so go & speak to people about dj/sound stuff. Selling or buying, their there to make contact – plus they’re human, they can be approached, other wise they wouldn’t be there

  • Demos – If you’ve got any give ’em out, drop ’em off

This year, I had something vaguely resembling a plan

  1. Go to the SAE Learning Zone, get some advice on automation & set up of my Korg Nano stuff in Ableton (Got some good advice on automation, showing I still have a limited practical aptitude, but I’m working on that. Forgot about the Nano stuff though)
  2. Go to a couple of seminars, particularly about Serato’s The Bridge (Missed that, but got to have a chat with the guys in their Demo Room – bloody nice, the CEO/Inventor/developer of Serato also came in & had a bit of a natter. Not often that happens, top marks, people!
  3. Take cash but don’t over spend (oops!)

(Well, I didn’t break the bank or indulge in any ‘lose the house & sell your kids’ – type of spending, but I will have to watch the pennies, for the time being at least).

This time I took a digital camera with a CHARGED battery. It’s amazing how little things like that make such a difference. It held out, allowing me to document the proceedings in something approximating their glory.

SAE Learning Zone BPM

The SAE Learning Zone at BPM

Serato Demo Room

The Serato Demo Room. Those lovely Kiwis, flew all the way here & dealt with my questions, despite my profound ignorance. Bless 'em.

DJ Ratzi -happy as the Duracell Bunny

I’ll get to the rest in the next post…